The New South Wales Innovation and Productivity Council (IPC) membership includes industry, education and research leaders.

The IPC reports to the Hon. Stuart Ayres MP, Minister for Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney. NSW Treasury is Secretariat to the Council. NSW Treasury provides the Secretariat to the Council.

A new council term commenced in 2020 with members appointed by the Governor of NSW, for three years.



Neville Robert Stevens, AO (Chair)

Mr Stevens has extensive experience chairing panels and reviews in the private and public sectors and is a distinguished former public servant who headed two major Australian Government departments, one of them dealing with telecommunications, media and broadcasting.

Since retiring as Secretary of the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts in 2001, Mr Stevens has been Chair of a number of public and private organisations, conducted major federal government reviews and worked extensively as a consultant on both business and government-related issues. These roles have included:

  • Chair, Australian Press Council (current role which took effect 22 January 2018)
  • Chairman of NICTA (Australia’s Information and Communications Technology Research Centre of Excellence)
  • Independent Chairman of Communications Alliance (a body founded by the telecommunications industry to assist in self-regulation)
  • Independent Chairman of the Broadband Management Committee (a body set up by the NSW Government in 2005 to reduce telecommunications costs)
  • Head of a review for the Australian Government into Indigenous broadcasting.


Professor Attila Brungs

Professor Attila Brungs is the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Technology Sydney. He has previously held senior positions with CSIRO and McKinsey & Company.

Professor Brungs is a Rhodes Scholar with a Doctorate in Inorganic Chemistry from Oxford University and a University Medal in Industrial Chemistry from the University of New South Wales.

Some of Professor Brungs’ present key appointments include ATN Chair; the NSW Innovation and Productivity Council; the Committee for Sydney Board; and ATSE fellow. His experience includes many distinguished past board and committee memberships, including not-for-profit organisations, in addition to numerous state and federal government and institutional appointments.

Professor Barney Glover

Professor Barney Glover is the Vice-Chancellor and President of Western Sydney University; Chair of Universities Australia; President of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences Trust; and Australian Government representative on the University of the South Pacific Grants Committee. He is also on the Board of the Australian American Fulbright Commission; The Committee for Sydney and Education Services Australia.

Professor Glover's background includes holding positions of: Vice-Chancellor, Charles Darwin University; Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, University of Newcastle; Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Development and other positions at Curtin University of Technology; and positions at Ballarat University.

His expertise includes: university management; business leadership; research; strategic partnerships; and commercialisation of university intellectual property. Professor Glover has had a range of memberships including state and national centres covering health, medical research, minerals, energy and telecommunications.

Dr Tony Rumble

Dr Tony Rumble is a leading practitioner and innovator in the financial services sector; leading academic contributor in the areas of design and distribution of innovative financial products and services, financial markets regulation and public policy; and Director, The Wealth Partnership Pty Ltd. He has particular experience in: private wealth management; tax; corporate finance technical advice; complex new products; and business startups.

Dr Rumble has held numerous roles including: Senior Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers; consultant for and member of Australian Government taxation review panels; academic and training services provider to financial market professionals in Australia, South Korea, Malaysia and Japan; and other engagements with Australian and global organisations in both government and non-government sectors.

Dr Michael Spence

Dr Michael Spence is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney; member of the Board of Studies Teaching and Educational Standards; and a Fellow of St Catherine’s College, Oxford.

Dr Spence’s previous roles include: Oxford University faculty head (law and social sciences); ex-officio member of seven senate committees, including education and research and investment and commercialisation committees; and lecturing on law. His expertise has focused on developing collaborative multidisciplinary centres; research; law including intellectual property and obligations; and languages.

Professor Paul Wellings, CBE

Professor Paul Wellings is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wollongong; board member the University of Wollongong, Dubai; Director of the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute; member of the Australian Research Council Advisory Committee; and member of the Bundanon Trust Board. He was Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University, UK from 2002-2011.

Professor Wellings’ background covers: leadership roles in government; director roles in research and development organisations and a rural regeneration company; research scientist and leader at the CSIRO; membership of numerous advisory boards; research and innovation councils; and an international and European policy committee. He was appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) on the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his services to higher education.

Professor Ian Jacobs

Professor Ian Jacobs took up the role of President and Vice-Chancellor of UNSW Sydney in 2015 and has been Chair of the Group of 8 universities since February 2018. Prior to moving to Australia he was based in the UK combining roles as a cancer surgeon and Professor of Women’s Health, with leadership roles as Dean of Biomedicine at University College London (2009-11) and Vice President of the University of Manchester (2011-15).

He trained in medicine at Cambridge University and the University of London and for 30 years has led a research team working on screening for ovarian cancer. He is a Board member of Research Australia, the Business/Higher Education Round Table (BHERT), Ovarian Cancer Australia and The Conversation; and is Chair of the Sydney Partnership for Health Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE). In 2005 he established the Uganda Women’s Health Initiative and he is a non-Executive Director of Abcodia Ltd a   diagnostics company he founded as a spin out from his research.

Since joining UNSW he has led an ambitious ‘UNSW 2025 Strategy’ focused around the role of the university in serving society, through research excellence, innovation in education, social engagement, knowledge transfer and global impact.

Professor Alex Zelinsky AO

Professor Zelinsky was appointed and commenced as University of Newcastle’s Vice-Chancellor and President in November 2018.

Prior to joining the University, Professor Zelinsky was Chief Defence Scientist, leading Defence Science and Technology. He was also previously Group Executive for Information Sciences at CSIRO and CEO and co-founder of startup Seeing Machines, a technology company focused on computer vision from ANU where he was a Professor of Systems Engineering.

Professor Zelinsky’s career spans innovation, science and technology, research and commercial start-ups and education.

He has a Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences (Honours), Doctor of Philosophy and Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Wollongong, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has completed the Advanced Management Program from Harvard University.

Professor Zelinsky has received numerous national and international awards, including being appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in 2017

Professor Brigid Heywood

Professor Brigid Heywood is the current Vice-Chancellor of UNE.

Professor Heywood has held academic leadership positions at Keele University and The Open University in the United Kingdom, Massey University in New Zealand, and most recently as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Tasmania.

Peter Freedman AM

As a multiple Australian Export Awards winner, Sydney-based RØDE has in recent times been hailed as a leader in the Australian manufacturing sector, with its sustainable high-tech approach setting an example for the future of Australian manufacturing.

Mr Freedman’s involvement in initiatives such as the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Center (IMCRC), and Microsoft’s “JoinedUp Innovation” initiative has seen him regularly invited as presenter and opinion leader to educational institutions both locally and internationally.

He was appointed a member of the Order of Australia in recognition for significant service to business, manufacturing and export, and his philanthropic support of cultural events.

Dr Richard Sheldrake AM FTSE

Dr Sheldrake retired as Director-General of the NSW Department of Primary Industries in 2013 after 38 years in the NSW Public Service. Before this he held a number of senior appointments within the NSW Public Service, including Director-General of the Departments of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Industry & Investment, CEO of the NSW Rural Assistance Authority, and Deputy Director-General, Department of Environment and Climate Change.

He has Bachelor and Master of Science in Agriculture degrees from the University of Sydney, and a PhD from the University of Newcastle.

Dr Sheldrake has been involved in guiding state and national policy in areas such as plant and animal biosecurity; agricultural research and development; drought policy; native forest management; native vegetation; fisheries resource management; agri-food policy; water use efficiency; sustainable land use; export market development; and frontline farm services. He played a central role in the establishment of the NSW Government’s Local Land Services.

He has held the positions of NSW Commissioner of Soil Conservation, NSW Commissioner of Forests and Commissioner of the Murray Darling Basin Commission.

In 2013 Dr Sheldrake was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to public administration in NSW and to the NSW community.

Jillian Kilby

Unique for having boots-on-the-ground in regional NSW while also advising clients in California, Jillian established an infrastructure advisory business in California after studying at Stanford University and makes a conscious choice to continue to serve the infrastructure needs of Local Councils and Joint Organisations of Councils in NSW. She is proud to have called over 70 Councils her clients, all are over the Blue Mountains.

Active in both Regional NSW (Dubbo / Sydney) and California (San Francisco / LA), Jillian enjoys design thinking, multi-stakeholder collaboration, and cross-pollinating ideas between diverse projects, teams and countries.

Australian BHP - Sir John Monash Scholarship for International Studies.

Agrifutures NSW/ACT Rural Woman of the Year Award.

Australian Young Professional Engineer of the Year Award.

Sydney University Young Alumni of the Year Award.

Steve Sammartino

After completing studies in Economics and Finance at University he worked in multiple Fortune 500 companies including Proctor & Gamble, SAB Miller, Kimberly Clark, Mondelez (Kraft / Cadbury), WPP (the world’s biggest media company).

Mr Sammartino has had multiple technology startups and he launched one of the first ‘Sharing Economy’ startups He now invests in emerging technologies and has multiple advisory board positions in startups involved in a variety of disruptive technologies across the Airline Industry, Automotive, Real Estate & Co-working, Internet of things, Quantified Self, Mobile applications, and 3D Printing technologies.  Mr Sammartino is heavily involved in the startup scene in Shanghai, China and has a passion for the culture.

He is author of two tech strategy books, The Great Fragmentation and The Lessons School Forgot, and How to hack your way through the technology revolution. Mr Sammartino is a media commentator on technology and the future on the ABC. He has also been featured on the BBC, The Smithsonian Institute and other programs.

Joann Wilkie

Joann Wilkie joined NSW Treasury in February 2019 as Deputy Secretary for the Economic and Financial Management Group. In this role, she leads the delivery of economic and revenue forecasting; provision of advice on economic reform; balance sheet management and financial risk management and engagement with Commonwealth, State and Territories on key national reforms and issues.

Before she joined Treasury, Joann worked in the Australian Public Service in Canberra for 20 years. During this time, she worked on agricultural policy in the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources; energy policy at the Department of Environment and Energy; gender policy in the Office for Women; regulatory policy at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Department of Finance and Deregulation, and in various policy areas at the Commonwealth Treasury.

Joann has a Bachelor of Economics (Hon) from Sydney University and a Masters of Public Policy from the Australian National University.

Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte (Special Advisor to Council)(Special Advisor to Council)

Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte is the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer and Special Advisor to the Innovation and Productivity Council. Hugh is a world-leading authority on machine learning and robotics, and its application in areas including cargo handling, mining and defence.

He has published over 300 research papers, graduated over 70 PhD students, and has won numerous awards and prizes for his work, including being named 2010 NSW Scientist of the Year. In his career he has worked with many major companies, has co-founded three successful start-up companies, and has won many awards including being named 2008 Engineers Australia NSW Engineer of the Year.

He is particularly well known for his work with Patrick in delivering the automated container terminals in Brisbane and Port Botany, and for his work with Rio Tinto in pioneering the delivering the automated “Mine of the Future”. He is an honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia (HonFIEAus), a Fellow of the IEEE (FIEEE), Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE), Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA), and a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (FRS).

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